Sunday, August 1, 2004

OSCON 2004 Day 5

Started out this day totally stressed about the talk, so I skipped most of the first keynote and did a dry run in front of the mirror.

Wandered in most of the way through the first keynote, but I caught the end, which looked pretty cool. Others have already blogged it though, so I'll leave it to them.

Next was a talk from on of the Novell guys, which was theoretically interesting (it's neat to see a huge company like that making the switch to Linux on the desktop), but in practice felt like a sales pitch.

I decided to check out Paul's talk on Constructor Dependency Injection, since I'd been listening to him talk for much of the week, and he's a pretty neat guy. The talk was pretty cool, although the concepts were pretty simple when you come right down to it. Compared to the rest of the 'Enterprise Java' world it does seem like a good way to do things though, another of those things I'll have to keep in mind in case I'm ever in such an environment, like Groovy.

Now was my second talk, Subversion Best Practices. I think it went pretty well, although some people obviously were looking for something more like Greg's talk, an intro to Subversion rather than ideas on how to use it once you know how. I did have a number of people thank me afterwards though, and nobody told me it sucked (at least not to my face), so I guess it went about as well as I could expect.

Next up was the final keynote, with the head tech guy from Weta, the company that did the special effects for LOTR. They have an interesting set of problems (HUGE AMOUNTS OF DATA), and are being hit rather hard by RedHat's switch to per-machine fees. They need to use RedHat because it's one of the few versions of Linux that third party companies actually certify their apps on, but sooner or later they'll have to upgrade from the old RedHat version they're currently on, and the migration path looks like RedHat Enterprise Linux, but that has per-seat fees that would be a big problem for thousands of machines. On the other hand, he did have good things to say about Open Source in general, as they make use of a lot of it in house. My favorite quote was something along the lines of "Sometimes I wish I had an army of developers. Then I realize, I do have an army of developers". It's easy to forget that open source is just that, an army of developers, if you know how to use it.

After the keynote John Peacock, Justin, another Apache guy, and I went out to lunch at a seafood place near the hotel. It was good, both the conversation and the food. Then we wandered off to Powells to do the standard 'drool over the massive collection of techie books', and scattered off to our respective hotels.

I spent the rest of the afternoon taking pictures of the Red Bull Flugtog, that crazy thing where they launch home made man powered flying machines into the river. The event itself was saturday (after I was leaving), but I did get some good shots of the machines themselves as they were setting them up. I'll post them once I get a chance to get them off the camera.

Ironically this was the only time during the week I actually took any pictures. I love my camera, but it's just too big to comfortably cary around during the conference, at least if you're going to also carry a backpack and a laptop... I see one of those sweet little Canon Powershot cameras in my future, so I'll have both ends of the spectrum covered with regard to digital cameras.

In any event, I went to bed fairly early, since it had been one hell of a long week at that point.